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Hollywood Park Closes Meet on Par with 2004

18 July 2005

INGLEWOOD, California -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- Hollywood Park closed its 64-day Spring/Summer Meet today with total common pool wagering of $667,016,796, down less than one-half percent from the figure of $679,693,206 during a 65-day meet a year ago. The daily average wagered was $10.42 million, compared to $10.45 million in 2004.

A record American Oaks Day handle of $22 million and a 15-percent increase in wagering on Hollywood Gold Cup Day to a handle of $19.5 million helped the track pull virtually even with 2004 after entering the final three weeks down nearly three percent.

The American Oaks program, which featured five graded stakes, generated more handle than the Kentucky Derby Day program ($21.8 million), which had annually been Hollywood Park's single biggest day since the inception of simulcast wagering in 1984. The fourth running of the Oaks belonged to the sensational filly Cesario, who dominated 11 rivals in becoming the first Japanese-bred to win a Grade I race in North America.

"The American Oaks has quickly gained world-wide acclaim," track president Rick Baedeker said. "The response of patrons was gratifying and Cesario's performance was breath-taking."

Hollywood Gold Cup Day, scheduled just six days after the Oaks, drew an on-track crowd of 18,501, topped only by Derby Day (21,452) and opening Friday night (20,006). Lava Man won by a record 8 3/4 lengths in becoming the 15th California-bred Gold Cup champion.

"We're obviously concerned about the decline in on-track attendance, but we had six Fridays without concerts this year and for the first time in four years we did not have a horse running for the Triple Crown on Belmont Day," Baedeker said. "Our big events did give handle a boost, as we were up six percent in wagering over the final three weeks of the meet."

Advance deposit wagering (ADW) increased by 9.2 percent to $49,648,778, compared to $46,155,279 in 2004. A record $1.8 million was wagered via ADW on American Oaks Day.

On-track, business declined as the daily average handle of $1,733,157 was down one percent and the daily attendance average of 7,801 was down 6.6 percent from 2004. Total on-track wagering was $110,922,016 during the 64-day meet in 2005, compared to $113,796,028 during the 65-day meet in 2004.

Purses averaged $432,078, up 4.8 percent from the figure of $412,350 in 2004. The average field size of 7.7 was down 3.8 percent from 2004.

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